Milestones Trust

A home from home

Beverley's story

When you have a family member with dementia, you need to know they will be cared for with dignity and respect.

Beverley, daughter of residents
Silhouette of a wheelchair

Beverley wanted her mother and father to find a home that would tailor to their personal care and bring back a sense of familiarity and routine to their family. She made the decision to move her parents to Abbey House and quickly found the solace and reassurance she was looking for, knowing her parents were safe and happy.

Beverley’s father, former RAF officer Gordon, aged 83, developed vascular dementia; following a stroke he had ten years ago. Initially, his wife and Beverley’s mother, Lilian, aged 77, looked after him at home. But when Lilian developed delusional dementia, Beverley felt like she had no choice but to find them a place together in a care home, inevitability knowing that her father’s decline would be rapid.

Unfortunately, Beverly soon realised that the care at this particular home wasn’t tailored to people with dementia. Her father’s condition declined, he barely talked and spent most of his time asleep. What was most heart-breaking for Beverley was seeing her parents in separate rooms, after 58 years of marriage.

Beverley made the decision to move her parents to Abbey House, which caters for individuals with dementia. She believed that the move would dramatically improve her parents’ quality of life as well as ease some of the strain off herself and her family.

Since the move, Beverley’s father is much more engaged and her mother has made a close circle of female friends. They are finally able to share a room again which, Beverley says, has been invaluable in helping them bother maintain a sense of familiarly and routine – a critical aspect for many dementia suffers.

When at Abbey House, the couple are encouraged to engage in chores and activities that make them feel at home. Lillian always liked to wash up by hand after a meal, and her new environment allows her to regain this familiarity. It has been a transformational move for both of Beverley’s parents; their personal care has improved greatly, giving them back a sense of dignity.

The change of scenery has also enabled Beverley to regain control of her own life. She no longer has to constantly worry whether her parents are safe and happy, giving her peace of mind. She now visits her parents three or four times a week, instead of up to twice a day – which was previously the norm.

“‘I had a week away for the first time in a long time recently and I could only do that because I was safe in the knowledge that Mum and Dad are being so well cared for and are happy. Everyone at Abbey House is easy to talk to and there’s lots of communication which is so important for reassurance.

When you have a family member with dementia, you need to know they will be cared for with dignity and respect. I can’t thank you enough for enabling them to be together. It really is a home from home.”

“Dad now says ‘Hello Bev’ when I walk through the door”: two words which hold deep significance for Beverley.